Natural History Conservation
Thursday 02 November 14:30 to 15:30

This talk covers the most artistically progressive period for British table cutlery between 1870 and 1940, and maps its evolution through a series of artistic periods, including Art Deco and the Arts & Crafts revival, right up to the present day.

For the humble spoon, the Arts & Crafts period brought in new and exotic styles developed from the changing taste that sprang from the Great Exhibition of 1851.  The artistic styles were largely based around natural form and many makers turned against the mass production of the industrial age. The rise and fall of the Guild of Handicraft with its strict precepts against mass production.  The golden age for Liberty & Company provided a platform for designers such as Archibald Knox, Oliver Baker, Bernard Cuzner and the Silver Studio with their bold, and often-colourful, designs for spoons.  Metalwork designers and producers were nearly all affected by the artistic trends that swept the country during this period.

The rise of women who rivalled their male counterparts in design and craft, particularly in the fields of jewellery and small silverware, was particularly significant at this time.


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Fruit spoons designed by Archibald Knox
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Selection of spoons by the Guild of Handicraft
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Omar Ramsden 6 teaspoons
Simon Moore - Conservator of Natural Sciences and Cutlery Historian


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